Completed An Ember Adrift From The Bonfire I

A supplimental story from "The Length Of A Day."

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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An Ember Adrift From The Bonfire I

Postby Tazrae on October 25th, 2022, 3:29 am

Timestamp: 45th of Fall, 522 A.V.



The Kois Quas Dominion : Gold Lake (second season)

The woman stood in front of a huge ornate mirrored wall in the training room, eyes locked on her own gaze reflected back at her. The turquoise irises nestled in the pure white orbs blazed with the fire of her rage. The kohl around her eyes made them seem brighter and bigger. She hated it. That creature wearing her grandfather’s meat suit had insisted. Her skin was as brown as it had ever been, baked dark by the desert.

Her caramel hair had lightened to a true blond now due to the same sun. It was slicked back with a special oil and was restrained in a tight braid down the middle of her skull with its thick tail falling across her neck to lay down along her right side. It was long, far longer than it had been, and bound so tight one couldn’t tell it would be a riot of curls once released from its careful weaving. The choker glittered around her throat, its medallions gleaming with the stones of power set in their centers. There were three null buffers on the back of the metal now, preventing thirty percent of the power of the restraint from working. Tazrae wondered, in cold detachment, what that gaze would look like fully unrestrained.

She shifted her stance, her body still muscled grace, keeping its secret even in her tight leather Benshira fighting gear. There were leather pants, tall boots, and a garment that looked like a cross between a bustier and a tank top that sheathed her upper torso and supported her breasts. She wore light armor and had gloves on her hands. Truth be told, Tazrae barely recognized herself. She looked like a Benshira, not a Sykan. That was how it was supposed to be, Sran’tuka insisted. Dress. Makeup. Hairstyles. Mannerism. He was even making her learn Shiber, though she struggled with it.

What she did recognize was the rage. It was an old friend, staring back at her from the treated glass until she gave it a nod as if to say “I see you.” Otherwise, she remained silent, waiting.

It turned out she didn’t have long to wait. The door on the far side of the large chamber opened. It did not echo as most of the rest of the rooms in the domain palace did. Instead, it was dulled by half the room's floor littered with tumbling mats, and the other half having a weird flexible floor that made falls easier even without mats.

Her instructor had explained that it was sap from trees that grew in the desert that hardened and made the floor rubber if the sap was painted on and allowed to dry in a hundred or more layers. Of course, no such treatment had been done to the floor here. Instead, Sran’tuka had just willed it and it had become a reality. The palace, as her trainer had explained, was an exact duplicate of the real one hidden deep in an oasis in the desert sands.

Taz now knew the Kois stronghold inside and out, all except for the floor the patriarch of the tribe occupied. Those rooms were his and that stair was off-limits.
Last edited by Tazrae on October 25th, 2022, 4:02 am, edited 2 times in total.
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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
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Tazrae
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An Ember Adrift From The Bonfire I

Postby Tazrae on October 25th, 2022, 3:31 am

Time had passed, so much of it. Lira had said she was moving past her first trimester and would be into her second one soon. The baby would start showing and the nausea would pass. The young woman could tell all was right by the small bulge in her abdomen her leathers did yet not show and the fact that she’d already had to punch holes in her belt to accommodate her expanding waistline. Each stab of the awl through the leather her imagining it being a stab through her host’s heart.

With the first two dampeners, she hadn’t yet realized nor felt the implications of what she was going through. But with the third dampener, she had fully realized that after this, no sane man would want her, let alone the one she loved. She’d wanted a child, before, and had talked to Shiress about it. But she’d had in mind to adopt one of the orphans. She’d not been of a mind to get herself stupidly captured by one of the biggest threats to her people and to the Nymkarta she loved. Did they know she was missing? Had any time passed there? Taz laid a hand on her stomach, stroked it slightly, and tried to will up hate for the creature that had taken root there.

She felt none. There was only love and sadness. And that was probably the biggest betrayal of all. She wanted to hate the child, to will a death upon it, but she couldn’t bring herself to do so. It wasn’t Alric’s and it wasn’t her choice, but she knew she’d fight for its right to exist and be born into the world – a safe world – not the world mother and child both currently lived in.

A form materialized next to her, moving in his usual way that drew no attention and thus tended to startle the young Innkeeper. Taller, broader of the shoulder, the slim muscled desert man stood beside her studying her reflection in the mirror. “Is the child well?” He asked suddenly, his golden gaze on her hand where it lay across her stomach stroking it lightly. Tazrae still didn’t know his name. She hadn’t cared enough to ask. He hadn’t offered it, either assuming she knew his name or not caring for her to have it.

Taz nodded.

“Nausea then?” He asked, lifting an eyebrow, his golden gaze flickering with concern for a moment. The man had tensed up like a cobra ready to strike and only relaxed slightly when she shook her head in denial. Interesting, Tazrae thought as she noted the brief flicker in the man’s Benshira gaze. He didn’t show emotion much, nor did he ask many personal questions. Taz took her ques from his mannerisms. It was an act. She knew it. But it was one she must adopt as well. Their common enemies had eyes everywhere and missed very little of what was going on in their lives.
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1245
Words: 1808031
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
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An Ember Adrift From The Bonfire I

Postby Tazrae on October 25th, 2022, 3:33 am

“Only a little this morning after our run...” She replied, meeting his eyes in the glass. She wondered if that was true concern she glimpsed in his gaze or if it was something else like fear for his life. If she got injured or the baby died, his life would be forfeited. He wouldn’t survive Sran’tuka’s temper. That much Tazrae was well aware of. Maybe she just wanted someone to care and had imagined it.

Lira didn’t, that much was for certain. Her relation… a second or third cousin she thought, was as cold as ice, and there had been no warming up to her. It was a curse of the dampeners, this new need… this new wanting. It was better when she had no feelings at all, let alone a growing love and fierce protectiveness surrounding the child she carried. That was going to be hard to hide, especially when Sran’tuka came around… when she needed to hide it the most.

The man moved then, drawing her attention back to the now. “Then we train. We sparred yesterday with machetes. I have no idea why you took up such a simple weapon. It’s no broadsword or rapier.” He said, shaking his head. He’d sparred using two short swords, which were in Tazrae’s mind, less functional and less flexible than her own weapon choice.

“I am not a creature of the desert. And the jungle has no room for a broadsword to swing. Plus, I’m fairly sure it's against some sort of warrior tenant to use a fine blade to hack away at vegetation.” Tazrae replied, impassively. The man made comments, but overall, he wasn’t unpleasant to be around. He had a sharp mind and was a good teacher, though his skills at conveying Shiber to her were strictly lacking. Thankfully he spoke Common fluently.

“You’ll never see the jungle again. Forget about it. It's better if you take up a Benshira weapon and be prepared for your eventually life in the desert. You mentioned whips. Today I was going to talk to you about them. One whip is much like another, so you can practice interchangeably with each type of whip and the techniques are the same. That’s much like daggers are to our people. Come… let me show you a few so you know what is what between them.” He said, turning and leading her to another wall, one that held an assortment of weapons.

He walked her past the blades, past even the bludgeoning weapons, to a smaller side wall, perhaps one meant for the women. There were fias, little blades that fit over the finger, and the strangely weighted sashes that women also used.

Taz was stuck on the man’s words. You’ll never see the jungle again. The sentence repeated over and over again in her mind. No. Just no. She wasn’t going to let that be the case. She’d be back to the jungle, where she belonged, soon enough. Through sheer practice alone, she let none of the emotion show. She watched him take down a long-handled whip that had about eight feet of braided leather attached. This man was the one putting the dampeners on the back of her medallions. Was he testing her by saying such things? Was someone watching and he was putting on a show? Wasn’t he doing everything he could to make sure she wasn’t here a long time?
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
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An Ember Adrift From The Bonfire I

Postby Tazrae on October 25th, 2022, 3:34 am

The woman blinked and tried to understand what the man just said. He had a bullwhip in his hand and was offering the coiled weapon to her. Reaching out, she took the weapon and gently uncoiled it, holding it by the handle. “Give it a good look. You need to understand what these parts are to understand the differences between the whips I’m about to show you.” He said, stepping closer and leaning over to gesture at the whip she now held.

“Whips come in a wide variety of styles. Their makers all do unique designs, even among the same types. But for the most part, they all have the same names for their parts. We’ll start with the handle.” The man began.

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He laid his hand on the handle and ran his fingers across the butt knot. “This is the Butt Knot and the Handle. This knot here is just decorative. It’s a finishing and gathering arrangement for the leathers. Depending upon the whip, this knob covers the leather or lead foundation of the whip. It’s designed to properly distribute the weight of the whip in one’s hand. You hold the handle in the palm of your hand when you are using the whip, but if you are just cracking the whip for the sound it makes, you can gather this butt knot in the palm of your hand to get an extra loud crack. I’ll show you how later.” He said, moving on.

Tazrae listened, thinking the knowledge was all surreal. Here she was, a prisoner in her own family's fake domain fortress, taking weapons lessons from a man whose name she didn’t know because another man inhabited by a monster thought it would be good for her. Was she no threat even trained? Did this ‘trainer’ understand how belittling that was? Rage rose in Tazrae, swift and almost surprising, but she stamped it out before the man could lift his eyes from the whip whose parts he was pointing out. Why was he even helping her? Tazrae never learned any answers here. She only thought of new questions or new ways to ask old questions that were never answered.

The man continued, not privy to the direction her attention was taking and how distracted she was. Taz forced her attention back to the present and forced herself to absorb the lesson. “You will need to know whips, Tazrae, for they give you a reach your machete does not, and strength you won’t have. They’d be an excellent weapon for a woman burdened with a child who can not draw a bow and does not have the luxury of pulling a machete because they have an infant in their arms.” He added, then continued. Evidently, they were having a whip anatomy class first.
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1245
Words: 1808031
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
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Journal
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Medals: 5
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
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An Ember Adrift From The Bonfire I

Postby Tazrae on October 25th, 2022, 3:37 am

“This long snake-like flexible part of the whip is the thong. Thongs consist of the entire flexible leather braided section of any whip. It should have an even smooth taper and should be firm and not spongey or squishy to the touch.” He added, running his hand down the length of the whip, circling the coiled part, indicating that it was the part he was talking about.

“So… on bullwhips and stock whips, the handle is firm, sometimes to the point of being wooden or hardened leather. But on a smaller whip like a snake whip or signal whip, the handle might be flexible all across its section. When wielding those weapons with flexible handles, the whip wielder absolutely must use his or her arm and wrist to create extra leverage. The flip side is that bull and stock whips take the extra room to store while flexible handle whips can almost be tucked into a side pocket or small backpack.” The man said confidently.

It was apparent to Tazrae that he knew whips and probably how to use one, but he didn’t treat it callously or carelessly. Tazrae nodded to indicate she was listening and following his words.

“Some whips, off the handle past the butt knot, will have a wrist loop. It’s a whip maker's preference to include one. It's not meant to hold a large amount of weight, but they will easily fit over your wrists for security if you are comfortable with them there. Then you can drop your whip or whips to use your hands for handholds or other things and pick them up again off the wrist loop without drawing your whip back in and coiling it in your hand. Sometimes… out in the desert, there is no time.” He added, taking a moment to study her.

“There will be less time for you, soon. That body you wear will become more cumbersome and you will lose your lithe grace. Your hips will widen to accommodate the child and you won’t ever recover the body you have now.” He said knowingly.

“Sran’tuka will see to it. If you don’t birth him a boy, you’ll be swollen with another child soon enough after the birth of a girl to see to it a boy follows. And he’ll keep you pregnant until your womb is all dried up. We’ve lost too many Kois and we have too few women of your age to do the replenishing. He won’t take outsiders into the tribe either. He’ll want to maintain the pure blood. So stop letting your mind wander and pay attention, Tazrae. This might be the last weapon you ever get to learn.” He added.

Taz nodded, anger choking her throat for the third time. She stamped it down ruthlessly, deciding it had no place at the moment. The man was doing her a favor, at least she could do him the courtesy of paying attention. “I am paying attention.” She said somewhat petulantly. They both knew she was lying.

But Tazrae was going to try.

She didn’t want to miss this opportunity, the alternative – lounging around or reading a book – was unthinkable. The bigger the bump grew and reshaped her flat stomach, the more restless Tazrae was. And she understood what the Benshira man was saying without words. Soon she wouldn’t be too big to fight, but a whip could change all that. She could fight with one regardless of size or handicap and be somewhat successful.

Words: 2642
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1245
Words: 1808031
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
One Thousand Posts! (1) One Million Words! (1)
Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)


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